National Hockey League
The Art of the Social Distance Celebration
National Hockey League

The Art of the Social Distance Celebration

Updated Oct. 1, 2020 5:41 p.m. ET

One of the winningest athletes of all-time posed the question on all of our minds.

Whether on the couch or in the stadium, the love of a sports fan knows no bounds. And that love runs deepest during championship celebrations and parades, which annually draw millions to the streets to commemorate the title run for their city.

So, how does one properly celebrate a crown in 2020?


While social distancing restrictions have stayed in place for award ceremonies and victory parades, athletes and teams have still been able to rejoice in their victories – with some fans even able to join in.

Let's take a look at the art of the socially distanced celebration.

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Stanley Cup

The Tampa Bay Lightning captured the Cup in six games with a 2-0 victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday, sealing the team’s first championship since the 2003-2004 season.

Despite restrictions in place on celebration, the Bolts hosted two ceremonies on Wednesday to honor the win.

The franchise held a boat parade for mask-wearing fans to enjoy from the shore while maintaining a proper distance.

There was also be a gathering at Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where mask-wearing fans could attend, but there was a limited number of seats.

NWSL Challenge Cup

The Houston Dash invited their fans to celebrate their Challenge Cup victory with a drive-through event at BBVA stadium in August, and this week, they had a response for Brady.

Dash players and coaches stood on a stage in the parking lot as fans drove by with signs, banners and flags to honor the team's first league title.

Fans were required to stay in their cars, drive at a safe distance, and wear masks.

'MLS Is Back' Tournament

The Portland Timbers did not have any fans in the stands, or any formal celebration once they returned to the West Coast, but they did celebrate together on the field following a 2-1 victory over Orlando City FC in the 'MLS Is Back' tournament final.

After winning the club's first championship since the 2015 MLS Cup, the Timbers popped champagne and interacted with the virtual fans in the crowd.

The franchise's owner, Merritt Paulson, took to social media to thank the fans for their support.

And several supporters celebrated the victory on Twitter.

U.S. Open

Women's World No. 1 Naomi Osaka claimed her second U.S. Open title in three years earlier this month.

Arthur Ashe Stadium was empty except for a few officials, players, coaches and loved ones -- including her boyfriend, Grammy-nominated rapper YBN Cordae.

She chose her spot, and carefully laid down, unlike the usual collapse fans see after match point. Her team and family joined her on the court to celebrate.


The Seattle Storm beat the Minnesota Lynx 92-71 on Sunday, sweeping the Lynx and punching their ticket to the championship round for the second time in three seasons.

Meanwhile in the NBA bubble, the Finals were set on Saturday, after the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat both closed out their respective Conference Finals matchups over the weekend.

Both teams earned some swag during their on-court celebrations after capturing their conference crowns, but apparently, the same couldn't be said for the Storm, and Seattle guard Jewell Loyd voiced her thoughts on Twitter.

Premier League

Liverpool's players watched outside at a hotel together as Chelsea's victory over Manchester City locked up the Premier League title for the Reds.

Following the announcement, players and coaches drank, danced and ate together.

While the players were celebrating, owner John Henry took to Twitter to share his excitement, clinching the title with seven games to spare.

And players thanked fans for their support on social media.

Champions League

Champions League winners Bayern Munich celebrated at their hotel together after lifting the European Cup for a sixth time.

But the team would not be able to hold its traditional raucous celebration with fans in Bavaria after clinching the side's second treble.

In previous years, Bayern celebrated by showing off the trophy to spectators from a balcony at Munich City Hall. 

FA Cup

Without any fans in the stands, Arsenal celebrated its 2020 FA Cup win on the pitch and inside the Wembley Stadium dressing room.

The team recorded its record 14th FA Cup win, lifting the trophy over Chelsea.

There was no formal celebration, but fans took to the streets to honor the club's first title since 2017.

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